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Behind-the-Scenes Star Wars Photos Show Trained Monkey Who Came Close to Playing Yoda

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By Sasha Lane , BuzzVine Contributor
November 19, 2013|3:19 pm

Star Wars (Photo: Star Wars)

Rare behind-the-scenes images of the monkey Star Wars filmmakers brought in to play Yoda before Jim Henson was enlisted to create the world's first animatronic puppet were revealed recently through documentary filmmaker Will McCrabb's Twitter account. was among the first to pick up on the photos from behind the set of "The Empire Strikes Back."

Eric Davis writes that the idea of using a monkey "was scrapped when it became apparent that even a trained monkey would continually rip the mask off, forcing the filmmakers to use Muppet mastermind Jim Henson to push the boundaries of 1980s technology in bringing one of the most iconic Star Wars characters to life."

Photos of the monkey who couldn't make the cut to play Yoda are below. Top photo is one that he has the mask on, and in the other he's holding Yoda's cane, according to Davis.

Star Wars (Photo: via Will McCrabb)

Rare behind-the-scenes images via documentary filmmaker Will McCrabb includes monkey wearing mask they brought in to play Yoda. [FILE]

Star Wars (Photo: via Will McCrabb)

Monkey holding Yoda's cane seen in rare behind-the-scenes images from Star Wars' "The Empire Strikes Back." [FILE]


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